Why are switchblades illegal


Switchblades are illegal in many countries and states due to the potential harm they can cause[5]. Switchblades can be concealed easily and quickly deployed making them particularly effective as a self-defense weapon[5]. This makes them difficult to control and a potential threat to public safety[5].

New York passed the first law banning the sale or distribution of switchblade knives in 1954 in an effort to reduce gang violence[2]. Since then, state laws restricting or criminalizing the possession and use of switchblades were adopted by an increasing number of state legislatures[2]. In the Czech Republic, it is legal to carry and possess switchblade or automatic knives with no restriction to the length of the blade[2].

In the United States, it is illegal to own switchblade knives or any other type of knife that has a spring-loaded blade system[5]. Washington State amended their laws in 1998 to make it legal to own and carry spring-assist or assisted-opening knives, but it is still illegal to conceal or open carry throwing knives, switchblades, gravity knives or bowie knives[2]. Some states have repealed laws prohibiting the purchase and possession of switchblades, while others, like Nevada, have made it illegal to carry knives designed to look like belt buckles or have a belt knife sheath[4].

Overall, switchblades have been made illegal due to the potential threat they pose due to their ease of concealment and rapid deployment making them a potentially dangerous weapon[5].


  1. https://blademag.com/knife-history/why-are-switchblades-illegal
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Switchblade
  3. https://www.quora.com/Why-are-switchblades-illegal-in-most-of-the-U-S
  4. https://www.houston-criminalattorney.com/texas-switchblade-laws/
  5. https://eknives.com/blog/switchblades-legal-your-state-know-your-rights
  6. https://www.akti.org/federal-switchblade-act/
  7. https://www.robertmhelfend.com/criminal-defense/californias-knife-laws/
  8. https://www.keatingfirmlaw.com/post/switchblades-in-ohio

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